Wednesday, February 07, 2007

We're Back!

We flew out last Thursday, landing in a big snowstorm in Denver. The kids were great on the airplanes, but it ended up taking us 2 hours just to drive out of Denver, not to mention all the way down to Colorado Springs, and that car ride was long! The saving thing was that our rental van had a DVD player, but it was a sign of how tired we were that we could not figure out how to make the sound come through the speakers. So Thursday night was "silent movie night". Of course the next day, after a good night's sleep, Bob pressed a button, and voila. Sound!

Friday we went to the mall and got pictures taken at Kiddie Kandids. This may seem like an odd way to spend a day, but I have always been so happy with Kiddie Kandids, and believe me, it is no small feat to get a good picture of all the kids at one time. So whenever we are in Colorado, I try to get pictures taken there. It took awhile, but we did get some good pictures, including some of just Anna. Now I can wait another year and a half before worrying aobut more pictures!

Saturday was the funeral, and it was a beautiful service. The funeral home did such a good job with Nana's body, and she literally looked 20 years younger--like I remember her when I was in high school or so. In fact, I later heard Caleb say to one of the boys, "Didn't Nana's shell look pretty?" We had been talking about how we would just see her "shell" because what really made Nana "Nana" was already in heaven with Jesus. Anna was wriggly, but the other boys were pretty good during the service. Afterwards we went out to eat at Nana and Papa's favorite German restaurant, Eidelwiess.

Saturday night we met Anthony L. at USAFA and watched an Air Force hockey game. That was a lot of fun, even though Air Force ended up losing in overtime. I miss being able to see good college games so cheaply! We enjoyed catching up with Anthony, but it seemed so funny to see him there as a cadet! He fit right in though.

Sunday we did not even attempt church. Instead we had a leisurely morning of exercising and then the boys swimming. We met back up with everyone to eat at another favorite of Nana's, Souper Salad. And then we had a great Super Bowl party back at the hotel! Another benefit of living in Colorado--the game started at 4:00 and ended at a quite reasonable hour!

Monday we did some shopping, and I started the laborious process of trying to stuff everything back into our suitcases. Unfortunately our hang-up bag broke earlier in the trip, so we had to buy a new one of those at the USAFA BX.

Tuesday we finished stuffing the suitcases and drove back up to Denver on a beautiful day, quite unlike the day we landed! The weather really was gorgeous the rest of the time we were in Colorado. Boy, I never get tired of looking at those mountains and that incredibly blue sky. Ahhh. But that's why Amy gives me a Colorado mountain calendar every year for Christmas!

Anyhow, we dropped off the rental car, and the boys said a sad farewell to the DVD player (I think that if you asked them, that would be the highlight of the trip for them, LOL). We used a skycap to check our luggage, a first for us. It's so hard to spend the extra money, but wow! What convenience! We ended up having 9 things to check, and it really was a hassle trying to move that pile of luggage around, so I think it was money well-spent! Our plane took off at 2:30, and the flight went just fine, but when we landed in Cincinnati for our layover, it was in the middle of a big snowstorm. Hmmm. Praise the Lord, our connecting flight was NOT cancelled, as many were, but it was delayed quite a awhile. We were supposed to take off at 8:00, but it was around 10:00 before we left, after sitting on the runway waiting to be de-iced for a LONG time. Anna was wiggly (understatement), although thankfully not loud, and once we did take off she fell fast asleep. Caleb had started some cold thing 2 days earlier and was running a fever, so he was bit fragile too. Fortunately he also fell asleep. At least he wasn't the ring bearer for a wedding, right Dan and Melinda? LOL. Must be something about air travel for him . . .

So we landed here at Dulles at 11:00 in the midst of more snow, and Elizabeth came to pick us up in our van. I can't tell you how nice to was to see her and not have to dig out our car in long term parking! She told us that our friend Christine had left us a meal in the fridge, and Bob exclaimed, "Oh no! She saw our messy house!" I said something about how I needed the hotel maid service at home because it doesn't take long to get used to that. Imagine our surprise when we walked into a totally clean house! Elizabeth and Lisa and their girls had cleaned up our house for us! What a great birthday present! And Christine's meal included a cake, so my birthday (which is today) was well-celebrated! That was just such a blessing for me. It was so nice to be able to fall asleep last night and know that there was nothing pressing to do upon waking. All the kids slept really late this morning, which was good since it was 12:30 before they were in bed! Tonight is still going to be an early night, however.

I am so glad we were all able to go. It was really wonderful to spend the time with my parents, and my aunt, uncle and cousin. Bob joked that it was like a cruise, since we had a big breakfast every morning at the hotel, and then we would go out to favorite restaurants for lunch and dinner! I so enjoyed the break from cooking and cleaning, and it was just a relaxing time. We all have good memories of Nana in Colorado Springs, so it was very fitting that we could all meet there and have such a good time together. And I am SO glad we didn't try to drive all that way in this crazy winter weather! Flying was well worth it!

Now we can relax for a week . . . and then the kids and I drive out to Ohio for 2 weeks (Lord willing and weather permitting, LOL!)!


Elizabeth B said...

Welcome back!

Have you found Google Book Search yet? I've been updating my History of Reading Instruction with all kinds of links to books from the 1800's. It's a powerful tool--I found more stuff in a few hours than after a full day at the Library of Congress. It's amazing how easy it is to find what you're looking for when you can search the full text of thousands and thousands of books.

Beverly said...

Welcome back! I've been thinking of you and your family and wondering how your trip went. What a wonderful surprise to come home to a meal and a clean house. I was blessed upon our return from Florida--my friend who picked us up from the airport had left a meal for us PLUS some fruit and milk for breakfast the next morning! It was great not to feel I had to run to the store immediately after such a long travel ordeal!

Get some rest before your next trip!

Beverly said...

Oops...forgot to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :-)

Pilot Mom said...

Happy Birthday, Claire! We are so glad you were able to make the trip. What fun to see all the kids together and to see how much they have grown. Nana DID look young, didn't she? Quite beautiful really!

mattkimuber said...

Happy Birthday! I was glad to read of your trip. It sounds like it was a much needed rest. What sweet friends you have to take the time to clean and cook. I hope the weather is fair for your trip back to Ohio. Thanks again for coming over for dinner before you left, despite all that you knew was coming up within that week. We enjoyed your family!

Jenna said...

Happy Birthday, Claire! You share a birthday with Brian as well! Glad to hear you had a safe trip and a relaxing time as well.

God bless!

dog_and_boy said...

It was great to see you at the hockey game! I have missed you all a lot. Mum told me about their surprise when you got home! Happy Birthday!!